The Corner

Romney Wins over Donors by Warning of Huckabee-Palin Ticket at Convention

The Romney campaign, renowned for its oppo-heavy strategy, didn’t even have an oppo book on Rick Santorum a few days before the Iowa caucuses, so surprised were they by his surge. Jon Huntsman nearly decided in November to leave the GOP and run as an independent. And before one of the debates, Rick Perry sang “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” in a restroom. These details are from Mike Allen and Evan Thomas’ new e-book, Inside the Circus, as are these additional factoids below.

Mitt Romney raised millions in March by warning would-be donors a brokered convention could mean a Huckabee-Palin ticket:

[O]n March 14 and 15, Romney had raised over $3 million in New York and Connecticut. … The Romney campaign had a clever pitch for the event. Schmoozing with his money pals before the events, a Romney fund-raiser pointed out that “slightly more than half the delegates” to the GOP convention at Tampa “are evangelicals.” These true-believer conservatives are averse not only to Romney but to semi-reasonable types like Chris Christie and Mitch Daniels. As a result, said this fund-raiser, the “responsible Republican guys” are “starting to realize” that at a brokered convention “it’s not going to be Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan, a ticket they could really love. It’s probably Huckabee-Palin or Palin-Huckabee.” That was enough to scare the Wall Street crowd into getting out their checkbooks.

#more#Romney could have gotten Jeb Bush’s endorsement earlier:

Sources close to him told us that Bush had actually been ready to endorse Romney in late January, but on a telephone call on the night of the Florida primary, Romney had somehow failed to ask, but did seek advice on getting the support of Senator Marco Rubio.

The Romney campaign was opposed to the way the RNC structured the voting calendar this year:

In fact, at RNC meetings in 2010, Romney’s close adviser Ron Kaufman had tried, unsuccessfully, to get some big states like New Jersey and New York moved up in the calendar so Romney could strike an early knockout blow. A Romney adviser blamed the former RNC chief Michael Steele for the forced-march calendar. “He was completely incompetent,” said the adviser, who talks often to big GOP donors.

Romney took advantage of Santorum’s penchant for answering questions directly at a debate:

That night, at the GOP debate—the candidates’ twentieth and possibly last—Romney sat back and looked mostly bemused as Santorum tried, with an almost painful earnestness, to explain his votes as a U.S. senator. At one point, discussing his support for federal intervention in public schools, Santorum said, “I admit I voted against my principles, but politics is a team sport.” … “Rick always takes the bait!” exclaimed a senior Romney adviser in Washington the next morning over breakfast. Romney’s strategy, he said, was not to attack but to let Santorum explain his votes for wasteful government spending, like the so-called Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska. The adviser, a lobbyist, had worked with Santorum in Washington. “He’s a really sincere guy, and he’ll answer questions. I went to one of his town halls up in New Hampshire. The average answer was five or six minutes. A guy asked him, ‘Are you going to go to war with Iran?’ and he starts explaining the difference between the Sunnis and the Shiites.”

Katrina TrinkoKatrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

The Kavanaugh Court

If Justice Barrett votes as her mentor Justice Scalia did, she will be part of an ascendant conservative majority on the Supreme Court. What kinds of decisions can we expect from this majority? Short answer: Ask Brett Kavanaugh. Contrary to how journalists frame each seat change on the Court, comparing the new ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The Kavanaugh Court

If Justice Barrett votes as her mentor Justice Scalia did, she will be part of an ascendant conservative majority on the Supreme Court. What kinds of decisions can we expect from this majority? Short answer: Ask Brett Kavanaugh. Contrary to how journalists frame each seat change on the Court, comparing the new ... Read More

Hunter Biden on Tape?

In a newly released recording, a man purported to be Hunter Biden is heard rambling about (a) his legal representation of Patrick Ho, a convicted former Hong Kong official he refers to as “the f***ing spy chief of China”; (b) his business dealings with Ye Jianming, the corrupt Chinese high roller, whom Hunter ... Read More

Hunter Biden on Tape?

In a newly released recording, a man purported to be Hunter Biden is heard rambling about (a) his legal representation of Patrick Ho, a convicted former Hong Kong official he refers to as “the f***ing spy chief of China”; (b) his business dealings with Ye Jianming, the corrupt Chinese high roller, whom Hunter ... Read More
Elections

Vote Your Conscience

At the 2016 Republican convention, Senator Ted Cruz spoke a controversial phrase: “vote your conscience.” I think about this phrase, this idea, fairly often. I’m not one to give advice on voting (or much else). But when asked for advice, I usually say, “Vote your conscience.” Sweet conscience! One of ... Read More
Elections

Vote Your Conscience

At the 2016 Republican convention, Senator Ted Cruz spoke a controversial phrase: “vote your conscience.” I think about this phrase, this idea, fairly often. I’m not one to give advice on voting (or much else). But when asked for advice, I usually say, “Vote your conscience.” Sweet conscience! One of ... Read More
Music

Stevie Nicks, Like Springsteen, Preaches and Preens

In the 1970s, Stevie Nicks and Bruce Springsteen made impressions on pop-music culture with romantic rock landmarks, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album and Springsteen’s Born to Run. But their new 2020 releases, Nicks’s single “Show Them the Way” and Springsteen’s Letter to You film and album, make the ... Read More
Music

Stevie Nicks, Like Springsteen, Preaches and Preens

In the 1970s, Stevie Nicks and Bruce Springsteen made impressions on pop-music culture with romantic rock landmarks, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album and Springsteen’s Born to Run. But their new 2020 releases, Nicks’s single “Show Them the Way” and Springsteen’s Letter to You film and album, make the ... Read More
White House

Hell, Yes

Editor’s Note: If you would like to read more pros and cons on voting for President Trump, further essays on the subject, each from a different perspective, can be found here, here, here, here, and here. These articles, and the one below, reflect the views of the individual authors, not of the National ... Read More
White House

Hell, Yes

Editor’s Note: If you would like to read more pros and cons on voting for President Trump, further essays on the subject, each from a different perspective, can be found here, here, here, here, and here. These articles, and the one below, reflect the views of the individual authors, not of the National ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More